When the winter wind blows, we all look for heartier dishes that will help to warm us up. We used to call them “stick to your ribs” foods! SAUSAGE AND LENTIL STEW is one of those recipes that will warm you inside and out. Italians love their lentils (lenticchie), and it is obvious that sausage is an important ingredient to them as well. When you put them together, the result is a dish that was meant to be.
This SAUSAGE AND LENTIL STEW is actually pretty healthy for you. It is filled with ingredients that add to your overall nutrition including fresh spinach!
What makes this one special? If your desire is for a soup – you can add more water to it and there it is! I like it as a stew because I tend to get tired of soups after a while during a hard winter. In particular, as much as I like it, lentil soup gets “old”. This stew will liven things up a little. Unlike many others, this one comes together quickly and does not require a long cook time. It is actually what I like to call, an Italian chili! It is thick, rich, and is truly very “chili-like”! You can add as much heat as you like, depending on your taste. A versatile dish, you can make it vegetarian, if you like. During a recent storm, we relied on it for several days and actually looked forward to the repeat performance every night at dinner time.
This is one you’ll want in your winter arsenal!
SAUSAGE AND LENTIL STEW
Prep: about 15 minutes
Cook: about 30 minutes
1 Chopped Large Onion
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic – chopped
1/4 C. Chopped Pancetta (Tip:easier to chop if partially frozen!)
1 Yellow Pepper Chopped ( Use any color of pepper you like)
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4 links sliced Italian Sausage – I like a combination of sweet (mild) and hot
1/4 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
2 1/2 Cups Cooked Lentils
1 28 oz. Can Whole Tomatoes including liquid– crushed with clean hands – you get a better consistency this way
3/4 C. Water
2 Tbsp. Fresh Chopped Basil
3 –4 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach
2 Cups Cooked Rice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook the first 4 ingredients in the olive Oil about 5 minutes at medium high heat to soften.
Add the sausage and cook at medium high for about 8 minutes.
Then add: cooked lentils, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, water, basil, and spinach.
Cook about 4 minutes.
Then add the cooked rice and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to your liking.
DONE! Can this SAUSAGE AND LENTIL STEW get any easier?? It certainly can’t get any tastier. Serve with an Italian beer or a bottle of vino rosso. You and your gang will love this one!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography